By Kristy Shonka
The Augusta Chronicle
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tuesday’s game at Florida was Augusta Lynx defenseman Joe Markusen’s 18th professional hockey game.
In that short span, the rookie has played for three different teams in cities that span more than 5,000 miles.
That’s often the way life is in the ECHL for a young player who is trying to prove himself.
“I’m learning that pretty quick,” the North Dakota native said.
Markusen began the season in Long Beach, Calif., where he played one game for the Ice Dogs. On Dec. 3, Long Beach traded Markusen to Reading, Pa.
One 40-hour cross-country drive later, the former Michigan State player suited up for the Royals.
Markusen notched one assist in 10 games for the Royals. Then came another move. The Lynx traded forward Mike Sandbeck to Reading for Markusen on Jan. 14. The Lynx needed immediate help, though, and flew Markusen to Augusta, delaying a 12-hour car trip.
This past week, that delay ended. Markusen flew to Reading during the all-star game last week to get the rest of his belongings and his car, which he drove back this past Wednesday.
He said he brought most of his stuff up to his apartment that night but didn’t feel like unpacking.
And who could blame him?
Markusen and his teammates had an 8:30 practice Thursday morning after which the Lynx left on an 8-hour bus ride to Pensacola, Fla.
The Lynx have not played at home since Jan. 15 – Markusen’s first game with the Lynx. There’s good news on the horizon, though. The Lynx’s trip to Florida this past weekend through Tuesday is their last extended road trip of the season.
And they play at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center for their next three games, beginning Friday.